Riders from Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania came to the 5th annual Park to Park Pedal at Kershaw-Ryan State Park in Caliente last Saturday.
Trenton Ward and Kathy Spotswood, of Corpus Christi, Texas were visiting Ward’s family in Lincoln County and decided they would also like to ride.
His parents, who are from Pahrump, “rode last year and liked it a lot and invited the rest of the family to come out this year. We have about 15 people in our group riding today,” he said. Ward’s aunt is Lacy Pearson of Panaca.
Park Ranger Andrew Porter said they had about 215 entries for the ride this year. Riders could choose between the Nevada Extreme 100-mile course, or the shorter 60-mile and 40-mile courses.
All riders left from and returned to Kershaw Ryan State Park, with everyone making a stop at Cathedral Gorge State Park, then up U.S. 93 to the Pioche turnoff sign. Those who continued on U.S. 93 were committed to the 100-mile ride which took them out to Echo Valley and Spring Valley state parks.
Those who turned off at that point could either go back to Kershaw-Ryan, or on into Pioche and back.
Ward said he did the 40-mile ride, and Spotswood said, “It was pretty hard, because we haven’t been practicing that much. But the scenery was beautiful.”
It was a bit windy on Saturday and many riders said the headwind on the return trip slowed them down and caused them to tire more readily.
Wednesday Hackwell, a senior at Cedar City High School, said her family has come on the ride all five years. “My family really enjoys it over here. My dad considers Nevada God’s country. Every year we do the Extreme 100. I think it’s an amazing ride, the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen on a bike ride. My family would rather do bike rides more in Nevada than any other place in the country. We did the Gravel Grinder in June also. The people and staff here are so friendly and helpful.”
Porter said the weather was perfect this year. “Warm in the morning, but not too hot in the afternoon.”
He also said there were more people in the campground the night before getting ready for the 7 a.m. start time. “We had to even make some extra campsites to accommodate everyone.”
Katie DeMille, of Hurricane, Utah, said she and her dad, from Moapa, both did the 40-mile loop. “It has been a beautiful day, and what makes it fun is getting out and accomplishing something you don’t normally do.”
Brett and Andrea Graham of St. George, Utah, both accomplished riders, said they only decided to come on the ride at the last minute. “My husband just decided last night, ‘Let’s do this’, really a spur of the moment idea,” Andrea said. “It’s our first time here and we like it. Very pretty, especially Pioche.” However, after 60 miles, Andrea admitted she did feel pretty exhausted.
A lunch of finger foods, grapes, chips and soft drinks was provided when riders returned. Later in the afternoon, a Dutch oven dinner was prepared by members of the local farm bureau.
Many riders said they were aware the Intermountain Mountain Biking Association is soon to build a series of mountain bike trails in the Caliente area, including Kershaw-Ryan, but only a small handful are cross-over riders. Several noted that more expensive bikes are needed for that.
Dawn Andone of the Regional Visitors’ Center at Cathedral Gorge, commented they raffled off a special quilt made by Rhea Boyd of Panaca. Winner of the quilt was Claudia Jones of Henderson.
She especially wanted to thank all the people who served as volunteers for the day, including Search and Rescue, Panaca Ma